Although large efforts have been dedicated to studying two-dimensional materials for catalysis, a rationalization of the associated trends in their intrinsic activity has so far been elusive. In the present work we employ density functional theory to examine a variety of two-dimensional materials, including, carbon based materials, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), transition metal dichalcogenides (e.g. MoS2, MoSe2) and layered oxides, to give an overview of the trends in adsorption energies. By examining key reaction intermediates relevant to the oxygen reduction, and oxygen evolution reactions we find that binding energies largely follow the linear scaling relationships observed for pure metals. This observation is very important as it suggests that the same simplifying assumptions made to correlate descriptors with reaction rates in transition metal catalysts are also valid for the studied two-dimensional materials. By means of these scaling relations, for each reaction we also identify several promising candidates that are predicted to exhibit a comparable activity to the state-of-the-art catalysts.